Monday, December 5, 2016

My Top 5 Cards from LEL

Now that pre-release weekend has come and gone, and the entirety of Legacy Lost has been spoiled, deck brews and builds are popping up like rabbits in spring. In between theory crafting sessions of my own, I bring you my list of what I consider the Top 5 cards of this set. I will preface this by saying that this isn't a prediction of which 5 cards will be impacting the meta the most, or which are the best 5 cards of the set. Rather, I'm ranking these based on originality, creativity, and personal preference. These will be cards that I find have interesting and unique card design, while maintaining a healthy impact on the game, or cards that I just find cool.

Faria's Summon

Starting us off is Faria's Summon. It's a pretty standard effect, search your deck for a resonator and add it to your hand. Torrent let's you recover a magic stone, essentially making this a 1-cost cast, which can help to play the resonator you just searched. This adds a ton of consistency to a lot of decks, especially those reliant on seeing one or two specific resonators in order to function. Huanglong/Four Sacred Beast decks are the first to come to mind, although this card was obviously designed to work with the new Inheritance cards. Any deck that wants to run a low resonator count, maybe run all spells with a couple of bombs to drop once you have a lot of protection, can benefit from this too.

Charlotte, Wielder of the Sacred Spirit

Charlotte, Wielder of the Sacred Spirit. This is one of those cards that can single-handedly spawn its own deck, having a powerful effect on its own but also benefiting from a support network. According to game rulings, effects of cards have their costs associated with their source cards, making her Barrier ability incredibly strong. For example, if Lancelot has 1000 ATK and swings, the game sees his burn effect as having a cost of 2, since Lancelot himself has total cost 2. Cards without costs, such as J/Ruler abilities, are treated as having cost 0. When playing Charlotte with her Ruler self, flipping and then playing this resonator will net you a 1000/1000 beater that is immune to anything that is 5-cost or less. Very few, if any, cards in the game can deal with her at that point. Since discard isn't nearly as prominent as it was last cluster, she isn't at too much of a risk of dying.

Given her incredible synergy with her Ruler form, you can start a deck out with just those two and then take it anywhere. Charlotte could be her own self-contained engine/win condition, and you could devote the rest of your deck to some other strategy and have two ways to kill the opponent, or you could load it up with protection and draw to make sure resonator Charlotte is an unkillable behemoth.

Amaterasu, Guide of Light

Amaterasu just has way too much synergy with too many things. Being an Inheritance card she was obviously designed to go in the Inheritance deck, and she's an incredible discard target for Glorius' Ruler effect. She can bring herself back from the graveyard, meaning she's still a live and playable card even after she leaves your hand. Lifelink on an 800/800 body is nothing to scoff at either, and while her Inheritance ability is pretty vanilla and costly, Faria can make that free. Then, once you've used her for her pump, you can just bring her back. Mad value.

The deck that can probably make the best use of her, though, is Fiethsing Turbo. Discard her with Guinevere and she's still live, and only takes 2 tokens/weenies to come back. She's no Gwiber, sure, but value is value. She essentially makes Guinevere a +2, just like Deathscythe, and can make use of the otherwise dead tokens that sit there.

Ammit, Beast of Gluttony Griphon, Racing Across Darkness The Manticore The Nine-Tailed Fox

This isn't one card, but they're so intertwined that they might as well be. I'm putting the Nine-Tailed Fox and his Chimera engine at #2 because of how flexible it is. The Fox can't battle and can't be destroyed (suck it Black Moonbeam), and his only purpose is to convert your resonators into Chimeras. The biggest thing here, though, is that he can play them from outside of the game. In a tournament setting, that means your side deck, but that's still huge. You have a toolbox of massive creatures, each will a powerful situational ability, that you don't have to dedicate deck space to. That means you won't have dead draws of big, unplayable creatures early on. Of course, this means the Fox's usefulness is directly tied to how good the Chimeras are, but they definitely didn't disappoint.

Ammit is an anti-resonator card. 1500/1500 is a massive body, bigger than even Gwiber, and nukes problematic cards on-enter, then gives you life. The Fox's ability lets you bring it out at instant speed, making him a Stoning to Death with a huge body and some life gain attached. The Manticore is much weaker, at 900/900, but has Flying, and comes with a discard effect. Since control decks don't tend to field many resonators, but hoard a lot of strong spells, the Manticore will be your go-to guy over Ammit in those match-ups. Unlike Scorn or Nameless Mist, he can hit any card, and you get to look at the opponent's entire hand to boot. You can also opt to destroy a regalia or addition instead, in case the opponent has something extra troublesome on the field. Griphon is the glue that holds the deck together. Since the Fox requires you to banish a magic stone to make a Chimera, you can easily find yourself falling behind if you spam him too much, but Griphon lets you keep up (or even get ahead) in the stone game while packing a massive 1200/1200 flying body. If you use Red Riding Hood as one of his materials you won't lose a single stone and will instead get a net +2 ramp ahead of your opponent. That's insane!

Curse of the Kyuubi

My #1 spot goes to Curse of the Kyuubi. It's very reminiscent of Stories Told in 1001 Nights, a card from Grimm Cluster that would remove a resonator from the game, then send all copies of it with it. Curse does the same thing but for spells, which is arguably better. Stories was one of my favorite cards from Grimm just because of how impactful it was, and how much it punished decks that relied on 1 or 2 broken cards (cough cough Lancelot cough cough) to carry them. Being able to do the same thing to spells is such a power play, especially if its a card like Charlotte's Transformation Magic or Space-Time Anomaly that have remnant, letting you essentially remove 8 cards from the opponent's deck. Using it on cancel spells, like Seal of Wind and Light, will let you play a lot more aggressively without having to worry about the opponent's answers as much. Granted, you will end up having to pay a lot of will to ensure this card goes off properly, but if you time it right you can win the game off of this card alone. It only has a big impact in the hands of an experienced and calculating player, who knows exactly what to hit and when, and more often than not you're going to see people misuse this and then complain when it didn't win them the game. Cards like this, which have a high skill ceiling to use properly and require precise judgment, are some of my favorite in any game.

Do you guys agree with this list? What cards do you think deserve a spot on a list like this? It will definitely be interesting to see how the meta changes in the next month or two as these cards see play.

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